GNL. The Tall Timbers Smithton Saints men featured a new-look line up during round four of the Greater Northern League against City Marians on Saturday.
While the Saints suffered five absent players, Hugh Dwyer and Max Lester made their Division One debut with a strong performance.
As the game ensued, Marians moved into offence as Dwyer and Lester stood solid across the halfback line to prevent the home side from prevailing while Nigel Kingston and Logan Buckby steadied the side to go into the first break with the scoreboard untouched.
Smithton settled into a structured style of play in the second quarter which led to the Saints gaining control of the game and multiple scoring opportunities. Despite this, City seized a moment to break out of defence and drive forward. Catching Smithton off guard, the side capitalised on this fleeting opportunity to notch the first goal of the game.
Captaining the side, Kade Wooldrage and fellow midfielder Nathan Johns led the fight to gain back control, creating opportunities for Richard Cornish and Kiah House in the forwardline.
Following a scrimmage for possession in front of the goalie, House claimed his first Greater Northern League goal in just his second Div One performance.
The clash looked to end in a stalemate as both the Saints and Marians stood tall in defence throughout the final quarter until City received a penalty corner to be converted for the 2-1 victory with five minutes remaining.
In the women’s game, Smithton met with a highly experienced opposition.
As City Marians launched into attack, the visitors struggled to hold the tempo of play to concede two goals in the first quarter.
The addition of Sam Johns to the Saints’ line up strengthened the midfield alongside Demi Littlejohn and Sonia Poke while an appearance from Georgie Finch on the backline supported Jandi Smith and Sh’kea Poke.
As the side entered the second half, the forwardline began to settle into the fast style of play.
Abbey House, Darcey Smith and Zoe Groves displayed courageous attacking while Farrah Henderson continued to adapt to the league’s level with another promising performance. Amanda House and Kahla Enniss were solid contributors on the forwardline.
In goals, Melissa Dodd worked hard under immense pressure in an outstanding performance which earned her three votes.
As the Saints managed to negate the opposition in the third and fourth quarters, a final goal in the dying minutes sealed the victory for City Marians, 3-0.
The Greater Northern League will resume on Saturday May 12 when the Smithton Saints travel to Meercroft Park to take on West Devonport.